This rare mixture is composed of the finest Latakia, Virginia, Perique, and Oriental tobaccos. Crown Achievement contained Perique in its original form, but this element was removed circa 2004. Lane has once again added Perique, as per the original recipe (tracked down by Leonard Wortzel) to faithfully recreate the storied Crown Achievement of old.
This is as good a review as any to visit the English/Balkan debate. I'm not saying I'm right, but here's how I use the terms: both English and Balkan blends have VA, Latakia and orientals (I know Latakia is an oriental too, stay with me here...). To ... Read Moreme it's a matter of prominence within a blend, not the origin of the leaf. If it is Latakia heavy, a “Lat-bomb”, or otherwise Latakia forward I consider it English whether other orientals are present or not. Why the term “English”? I have no clue. I've heard in England they refer to these blends more correctly as “Latakia mixtures” (Brilliant!). Or, if the predominant feature are other orientals, regardless of a Latakia presence, then I think of it as a Balkan. I'm stubborn, but my understanding was influenced by the early 90s. Back then the term “Balkan” was commonly misused to mean any Lat-blend the way “English” is used today. When the only info you have is from a local B&M and they're wrong about something, you tend to be wrong too until someone sets you straight (not that the web has helped the debate). Nowadays, in casual conversation, I'm fine with these terms being used interchangeably since they both convey “non-aromatic”. Can they include other tobaccos? Sure, as long as the core tobaccos are there. Crown Achievement has Perique and it takes nothing away from the blend but adds a subtle spice upping the ante. I've never had it without Perique so I can't compare, but included this is a stellar blend. Crown Achievement is so well balanced that by my own definition, I can't tell which component is foremost and thus if it is English or Balkan. It is definitely a non-aromatic mixture. It has depth and complexity many never reach. It cooperates mechanically. Is consistent. But above all, it is a strong creamy Latakia/oriental blend of some character. In the end, it doesn't matter what you call it. I like to call it “Crown Achievement”. Aptly named, it is a pinnacle of rich & tasty tobaccos sure to please Latakia fans. Enjoy.
PS: Don't get me started on how wrong the term “oriental” is. Read Less
A different Jerry L. with a different opinion. I was mesmerized by the whole story of this reintroduction of Lane Crown Achievement when it first came out... from Leonard Wortzel's super-sleuth work to the ferreting out of recipes, original machines,... Read More ingredients, etc. My first order was for two tins which quickly met their timely and immensely enjoyed ends. My next order was for 4 tins, and my next, half a pound in bulk. I find this a superior and refreshing full-on-English blend in all the best senses of the words! Right now, as I'm typing these thoughts, I am enjoying a bowl of Dunhill NIghtcap, also a favorite. Personally, Crown Achievement is my favorite of the genre by a nose. For some mysterious reason, in Crown Achievement, the layers of ingredients and the complexities of aromas evolve through a bowl a bit more orderly, discretely, and definably than Nightcap. And although it's probably my imagination, there is a new world freshness and sparkle to Crown Achievement that I don't experience as clearly in other venerably grand lords of the English domain. When my son asked me to recommend an all-around "quintessential English", my thoughts settled down on the magic formula of Crown Achievement... for the money and for the fun, it is my personal winner that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to anyone asking the same question. Read Less
I tried this once a few years ago in bulk. Great stuff. Just tried it for the 2nd time in the tin.. good about 3/4 the way down. Left a taste in my mouth that I consider as less than pleasing. Almost chemically. A disappointment, indeed. A Balkan tha... Read Moret will surely not be in my rotation. Read Less
I bought 2 tins and have only opened one tin at this point. The tin was sealed and I was very surprised by how dry it was and even more surprised by the amount of stems. They weren't large but plentiful. Didn't pack well and burnt quickly. Taste was ... Read Morefair but not good enough for me to buy again. I'll probably make a gift of the other tin rather than let it take up space. I may have just gotten a bad tin. Read Less
My recent order included a couple tins of Crown Achievement. Very nice tin quality, unusual clear stiff plastic insert to hold the tobacco firm and retain moisture. Probably the best packaging I have seen.
The tobacco comes at just the right dampnes... Read Mores for immediate smoking. I wandered off into the garden and loaded up my Grabow Golden Duke. Tobacco took a light straight away and produced very nice clouds of pungent flavorsome smoke. For my first couple of bowls I wondered if this was going to have just a little too much Perique, but as I became accustomed to Crown Achievement I realised that the Perique element is what makes it rather special. It has a background sweetness, a hint of something Oriental, then the Perique on top. The Perique seems to be quite soft - there's a spiciness there which becomes very attractive after repeated smokings, but it doesn't have the big peppery kick that I've experienced in some Perique mixtures.
Having opened the first tin yesterday, I'm rather surprised to find the contents dwindling rather rapidly! Already had another couple of smokes of it this morning, and it really is growing on me. The smoking taste and aftertaste are really rather infectious.
Something in this reminds me of Dunhill's Aperitif, but I think Crown Achievement is better, more spicey but soft as well. All rather intriguing! In fact I'm going to be rather dramatic and say that this Crown Achievement beats all the Dunhills I've smoked - and that really is rather a big compliment.
So: only a couple of days into my first tin, but I think this one is a real winner, and I'm already planning to buy lots of tins for my cupboard. Well done Lane! Read Less
Lane has improved much from the 70's. The CA is a good English mixture. Taste is even and it smokes smoother starting about half way through the smoke. It burns evenly all the way to the bottom. It is up there with other good English mixtures inc... Read Moreluding the original John Cotton's and Balkan Sobranies. Read Less
I don't know if it was a last batch from the bulk crate but for me it was a stout English with some complex notes of Orientals and something else. Yet, I enjoyed it. Comparable to Dunhill's My Mixture 965 without the pungent taste.
I certainly dont think Lane is kidding when they say they chose the finest tobaccos because the ones in this mixture really did taste like premium choices. I would also agree with Doug R.'s assessment that its improved with a little age. My subsequ... Read Moreent smokes after having the tin sit for weeks or months after opening only improved my experience with it. While I wouldnt say the flavor changed it meerly seemed to increase its positive attributes and decrease the negative ones.
I thought its unique flavor was very consistent and didnt change hardly at all throughout an entire bowl and boy did it smoke well burning down all the way to nothing. If you think you'll like whats in the blend then definitly give it a try and for me its something to work into the rotation when I am in the mood or to change stuff up. While I wouldnt call it the strongest or a super heavy smoke its definitly not light and past medium as to its strength. Nothing to be afraid of and as I said the best way I can sum it up is to testify that it did seem like a bargain for how good the tobacco was compared to the price of the tin. Beautifully presented in appearance too. The room note I did not think was pleasant and my wife agreed so I would have to disagree with that notion.
While my personal pallet really likes this one and thinks its a very unique blend that taste unlike anything else I have tried its also one I am just not in the mood for often. There is no way I would keep a lot of it on hand to age or go through tin after tin like I do my favorites but I would like to always have at least a tin or two and if I found out it was going away I may get half a dozen and that would last me the better part of a decade for as little as I crave it. Read Less
A smoky BBQ smell from opening, nice smooth round notes with Orientals coming forward but not as much as in Bosphorus cruise, and with the latakia playing back a bit not too much but i can detect it here and there. Nothing like 3 oaks but a good smo... Read Moreke.I don't think i'll buy more but its only becuase i have a few other favorites with a little more up front orientals. Read Less
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